Hope requires action.

Sinking House, a new art installation in Bath, is a message of warning, and hope, to communities across the world – including leaders gathering at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) – to address the issues, reach for lifelines and act now against the intensifying threat of climate change.

The installation

Placed in one of the most iconic locations in Bath, Sinking House appears semi-submerged and at a tipping point between Pulteney Weir and Pulteney Bridge. On the chimney, a human-like figure clings to a lifeline which reads ‘COP26’.

Located in a seemingly perilous location just above the turbulent weir the house’s vulnerability and that of the figure on top represents the dangerous position we have put ourselves in today with climate change. The piece highlights the need for immediate action to avoid devastating consequences.

The built environment

Sinking House coincides with the closing of the Climate Action Relay, an 8 week programme to provoke and inspire collaborative action across the built environment, and we hope Sinking House does the same.

We can’t escape the fact that the built environment is a major contributor to global CO2 emissions. But we can agree that more can be done by those who shape this industry to join forces to reduce our negative impact on people and planet.

Making it happen

Sinking House is led by Stride Treglown and Format Engineers, with artist Anna Gillespie and Fifield Moss Carpentry.

Local tradespeople have helped to build the sculpture to minimise transport emissions and keep the installation as sustainable as possible.

It has taken an entire community of local people and organisations to make happen: Bath and North East Somerset Council, The Environment Agency, City of Bath Sea Cadets, Greenman Environmental Management, Bridge Coffee Shop, Sydenhams, Kellaway Building Supplies, Minuteman Press, RIBA, Wessex Water, Architecture Is.

Rob Delius, Stride Treglown’s Head of Sustainability:

“We at Stride Treglown are conscious of how through our work we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment but also potentially be a catalyst for positive change. As a B Corp and a carbon neutral business, we wanted to use the piece to highlight the severity of the climate emergency. Ahead of COP26, we encourage world leaders to recognise the importance of this opportunity to take meaningful action. We hope that this installation, which has been a collective community effort, helps that message to sink in.”

Stephen Melville, Format Engineers:

“As a Bath based business we wanted to contribute to our local community, who have all been extremely supportive in helping us create this. We recognise that there is still a huge amount to do as an industry to bring us in-line with climate change targets, and fully endorse the message the installation sends on a sector, local and global level. This dramatic and important symbol of climate change against such a historic backdrop will hopefully encourage those in positions of power to do more.

On the design concept and climate emergency, Anna Gillespie, Artist:

“The iconic Pulteney Bridge is known throughout the world and is the perfect location to send the message about the need for action. The recent floods signify just a small part of the effects of Climate Change: we must all act now to save the planet. Contributing to this message through the arts is just a small part of what I can do to ensure protecting our environment is the top priority.”

The installation will be available will be in position for two weeks between 24th October and 7th of November. Help share this important message of warning and hope on social using #SinkingHouseBath.